Marmara Üniversitesi, Türkiyat Araştırmaları Enstitüsü, Türk Sanatı Anabilim Dalı, İstanbul/Türkiye.

Keywords: Âyan (Notable Person), Aydın, Cihanoğlu Family, Cihanzade, Koçarlı, Ottoman, foundation.


According to a legend, the story of the Cihanzâde dynasty started in 1522 in the Amazon region of Aydın. This legend tells us that the Cihanzâde family gained strength when the Koçarlı plain was given to them by Suleiman the Magnificent as fief and that they became one of the strongest families in the region by engaging with agriculture and trade. Research shows that the Menderes Turks first settled in the Mazın (Amyzon) region of Koçarlı and then lived in Aydın (Meandros). Cihanzâdes, who were considered to be from the Menderes Turks, called themselves as Aydın Güzelhisarı and Sobuca notables in archive records. Cihanzâdes gained the opportunity to become a regional political actor due to holding important public positions such as“voivodship”,”notable”, “representative attorney”, dervish-i ali ser-bavvabı”, “clerk” and “judge”, and by establishing kinship with the notables families in the region which were the dignitary, wealthy and noble families.

It is seen that the Cihanzâde family were sometimes complained to the Ottoman Capital due to the excessive raise they gave in akçe and they were in conflict with the people, and sometimes they struggled for property among themselves. According to archive documents, it is understood that the family got into debt due to not being able to manage their properties well at the end of the XIX. century. As a result of all this, the family; In the last period of the Ottoman Empire, lost its economic power over time, and started to protect its properties and lands by establishing wealthy foundations.

There are no publications mentioning the foundations of the family other than Arel’s publications on Cihanzâde Abdülaziz Efendi foundation. In addition, the Presidential state archive, the Cihanzâde family archive, the General Directorate of Foundations archive, and the family’s gravestones in the Aydın geography were used as a source and a detailed Cihanzade family genealogy was created for the first time.

In our archive and publication scannings, we have determined that there are no publications that directly address the foundations of the family and examine them in integrity. In this article, the important personalities of the Cihanzâde family, who lived between 1522 and 1923 and the fourteen foundations, the first established in 1736 and the last in 1882 by the family, are introduced.